FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - January/February 2001 - Vol. 10, No. 1, HTML version

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F M S   F O U N D A T I O N   N E W S L E T T E R     (e-mail edition)
January/February 2001 Vol 10 No. 1
ISSN #1069-0484.           Copyright (c) 2001  by  the  FMS Foundation
    The FMSF Newsletter  is published 6 times a year by the  False
    Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  A hard-copy subscription is in-
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           1955 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5766
                 Phone 215-940-1040, Fax 215-940-1042
    Legal Corner                The next issue will be combined
      Chatelle                           March/April
        From Our Readers
          Bulletin Board 

Dear Friends,

    Happy New Year!
    Will 2001 be the year when the FMS problem fades sufficiently so
that there is no longer a need for the Foundation? Wouldn't that be
wonderful! What would it take? The remaining issues of debate about
recovered memories are no obstacle. Indeed, the consensus on issues is
far greater than any differences. (See Knapp and VandeCreek p.2) What
is desperately needed is to spur communication between the accusers
and their parents. If only mental health professionals and their
organizations had the courage to state that it is inappropriate and
unacceptable behavior to make criminal accusations against a person
and then refuse to communicate with either the accused or the
accused's representatives. Once communication begins, most families
reconcile. It's easy to demonize someone who is not present. It is
difficult to maintain the belief that one's parent is a demon when
looking in his or her eyes and experiencing that parent's love.
    We need to remember, however, the enormous difficulty that
communicating with parents presents to those caught in the recovered
memory web. There is a tendency for people to avoid situations that
are uncomfortable, and it is difficult to imagine a more uncomfortable
situation than facing deeply loved parents after accusing them of
heinous acts of childhood sexual abuse. Whatever can be done to
facilitate the process of communication is what must be done. That is
the main focus of the Foundation's effort this year. Unfortunately,
we are still getting phone calls from people newly affected by
accusations of abuse based on nothing more than recovered repressed
memories. The article on page 2 "Still Need for Foundation" describes
those who contacted the Foundation in response to a sympathetic
newspaper article in St Petersburg.
    There are also some lawsuits being brought and there are still
some people such as Bruce Perkins and the Souzas who are under arrest.
In this issue Bob Chatelle writes about four cases in Massachusetts
that he believes are wrongful convictions. Although only the Souza
case stems from belief in repressed memories, the others are evidence
of the larger panic about sexual abuse in our culture.
    Although blind faith in the accuracy of recovered memories seems
to be dying, that belief also seems like a weed with roots stretching
beneath the surface so that when it is plucked from one patch, it
quickly pops up in another. In this issue readers will find a
remarkable number of descriptions, quotes or mentions of outstanding
studies about memory. The presence of so many citations leaves no
doubt about the state of scientific understanding. At the same time,
we see the deep roots of belief in recovered memories in a disturbing
new book promoting recovered memory beliefs and practices. We devote
space to some sharp comments about this book (page 3) so that readers
will be aware of its dubious foundations.
    The letters from our readers continue to give us a picture of what
is happening in families. We rejoice in the reconciliations, but when
children return because of a parent's fatal illness, we ache that the
return was not in time for happy new experiences. Reality isn't always
pretty. The end of the recovered memory phenomenon for some families
is not nice. The letter called "The Passing" may haunt some readers.
It should haunt any person who ever encouraged accusations based on
nothing more than belief in recovered memories.
    We thank you for your deep generosity in response to our fund
raising drive. We are most grateful and happy to let you know that we
have resources to start to explore ways to help more families

/                                                                    \
| "It has been about 30 years since the first rumblings of           |
| discontent with the state of academic psychology began to be heard |
| ...It is a remarkable feature of mainstream academic psychology    |
| that, alone among the sciences, it should be almost wholly immune  |
| to critical appraisal as an enterprise. Methods that have long     |
| been shown to be ineffective or worse are still used on a routine  |
| basis by hundreds, perhaps thousands of people. Conceptual muddles |
| long exposed to view are evident in almost every issue of standard |
| psychology journals."                                              |
|                                                          Rom Harre |
|                                                   "Acts of Living" |
|                             Science, 289 (25) August 2000 p. 1303. |

        |                   SPECIAL THANKS                   |
        |                                                    |
        |   We extend a very special `Thank you' to all of   |
        |  the people who help prepare the FMSF Newsletter.  |  
        |                                                    |
        |  EDITORIAL SUPPORT: Toby Feld, Allen Feld, Janet   |
        |           Fetkewicz, Howard Fishman, Peter Freyd   |
        |  COLUMNISTS: August Piper, Jr. and members         |
        |           of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board    |
        |  LETTERS and INFORMATION: Our Readers              |

                      STILL NEED FOR FOUNDATION
                              FMSF Staff

The November 26th edition of the St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
featured an article worthy of note for its depiction of a 71-year-old
mother accused of sexual abuse by her adult son, based on "fleeting
and vague" memories. It engendered many letters and phone calls to the
Foundation. Dave Schreiber's comprehensive article, "Sins of the
Mother?" chronicles the mother's story through letters and e-mails. In
the last one her son demanded that all correspondence cease. And yes,
he was in therapy. The mother, younger son and former husband all
adamantly deny that any abuse occurred. An accompanying article tells
the story of Laura Pasley, a retractor who once believed that her
mother had abused her, but eventually realized that her allegations
were false.
    The FMSF volunteer whose name and phone number were listed in the
article received 6 calls from local families in similar circumstances,
but none had been accused recently. Here at the office (our number was
also listed), we had more than a dozen calls and several letters. This
response is from a newspaper with a circulation of approximately
460,000. A few years ago there would have been many more calls.
    One call came from a woman whose two daughters in their 40s
accused their father of sexual abuse six years ago.  Another came from
a man whose 40-year-old daughter accused him one year ago. These are
typical of the thousands of calls we've received over the years. We
were surprised, however, by a letter from a 76-year-old mother who was
accused in 1969 by her then 17-year-old daughter who had been seeing a
youth minister at their church. This is one of the earliest reports of
a false accusation of abuse of which we are aware.
    Surprisingly, these three parents had never heard of false memory
syndrome or of the Foundation before reading the article. As the
76-year-old mother wrote to us, "It has a name! I am not alone!" When
her husband died 13 years ago, she decided to move on and concentrate
on her own well-being. The closing sentence in her letter: "I am now
married to a wonderful, caring man and am extremely happy -- but in
the middle of the night I cry."
    So although the number of new calls from accused parents has
dramatically decreased, there are still families out there who, until
they see an article that mentions the False Memory Syndrome
Foundation, have nowhere to turn for help. Obviously, our work is not

  Scheiber, D. "Sins of the Mother?" St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 26,
  2000 1F & 3F.

/                                                                    \
|              Consensus on False (Recovered) Memories               |
|           from Knapp & VandeCreek [1]  Table 1, page 366       |
|                                                                    |
|                            CHILD ABUSE                             |
| Child abuse is harmful and prevalent.                              |
| Satanic or ritualistic abuse is rare.                              |
|                                                                    |
|                        CREATION OF MEMORIES                        |
| Adults with continuous memories of being abused are likely to have |
|   accurate memories.                                               |
| Some memories of past traumas can be lost and later recovered.     |
| Memories from infancy are highly unreliable.                       |
| False memories can be created.                                     |
| Magnification and minimization are better ways to conceptualize    |
|   memories than the dichotomy of "true" or "false."                |
| It is difficult to ascertain the accuracy of memories recovered by |
|   suggestive "memory recovery" techniques.                         |
|                                                                    |
|                   DIAGNOSIS OF AND PSYCHOTHERAPY                   |
|                WITH PATIENTS WITH MEMORIES OF ABUSE                |
| Child abuse, in and of itself, is not a diagnosis.                 |
| Child abuse cannot be inferred from a set of current symptoms.     |
| Mental illness and mental disorders have many causes.              |
| Psychotherapists should ask patients about past childhood abuse if |
|   it is clinically indicated.                                      |
| Memory recall of abuse is not necessary for effective therapy to   |
|   occur.                                                           |
| The focus of treatment should be on the current functioning of the |
|   patient.                                                         |
| Treatments should be tailored to the individual needs of each      |
|   patient.                                                         |
| At times, patients may need to learn to live with ambiguity about  |
|   the veracity of memory or memory fragments.                      |
|                                                                    |
|                      ROLE OF PSYCHOTHERAPISTS                      |
| Psychotherapists need to respect and promote patient autonomy.     |
| Psychotherapists need to scrupulously maintain professional        |
|   boundaries.                                                      |
| Psychotherapists need to maintain therapeutic neutrality on the    |
|   issues of litigation and confrontation.                          |
| Even though psychotherapists have no primary legal duty to third   |
|   parties, they should not be oblivious to the impact of their     |
|   actions on those third parties.                                  |
|                                                                    |
| 1. Knapp, S. & VandeCreek, L. "Recovered Memories of Childhood |
|             Abuse: Is There an Underlying Professional Consensus?" |
|                Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 2000 |
|                                            Vol. 31, No 4, 365-371. |

                       STRANGER IN THE MIRROR:
            Dissociation: The Secret Epidemic of Our Times
                 Marlene Steinberg and Maxine Schnall
                       Cliff Street Books, 2000
                              FMSF Staff

One of the more effective techniques for debunking pseudo-science is
to take a pseudo-scientific method and use it for demonstrating not
just the nonsense claimed by the pseudo-scientist but for all sorts of
other nonsense. When it comes to memory-recovery techniques it turns
out that we don't have to go through this effort -- others have
already done it for us. Using the same hypnotic techniques long
favored by MPD/DID specialists, Dr. John E. Mack recovers memories of
alien abductions and Dr. Brian L. Weiss routinely recovers memories of
past lives. You might think that the efforts of these two
psychiatrists would have induced a little wariness among the MPD/DID
specialists. No such luck. In a remarkable display of mental
gymnastics a third psychiatrist, Dr. Marlene Steinberg, has now
concluded that the work of Mack and Weiss confirms the technique.
    No, she doesn't argue that people are really remembering alien
abductions or past lives. She argues that they are really remembering
terrible abuse in their own lives. The fact that they remember this
abuse as something clearly absurd is evidence -- according to her
theory -- of the power of dissociation. (Most of the rest of the world
would take it as evidence of the power of hypnosis.)
    Dr. Steinberg doesn't stop with past life -- she goes on to
conclude that visions of afterlife (as found in "near death"
experiences) are also dissociative symptoms of early abuse. All this
can be found in the climax of her book (written with talk-show hostess
Maxine Schnall). The book was reviewed by FMSF Advisor Elizabeth
Loftus in the November issue of Psychology Today.[1] The title of
Loftus's review is "The most dangerous book you may already be
reading" and it appears with the editorial comment, "Steinberg is
trying to breathe new life into a form of therapy that once destroyed
thousands of lives." A few excerpts:

  "To make a diagnosis of DID, Steinberg uses a test she developed
  called the Steinberg Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative
  Disorders, (SCID-D, for short). She modestly characterizes the test
  as a 'breakthrough diagnostic tool,' but offers no scientific
  evidence for its validity. Nevertheless, her confidence in the
  instrument knows no bounds: If the test says you have DID, then you
  have DID."

  "Steinberg's faith in her 'breakthrough' tool may have prompted her
  to include in her book a series of questionnaires, adapted from the
  SCID-D, that readers can use to determine whether they, too, are in
  need of treatment for a dissociative disorder. I sat down one day
  and took these tests. To my dismay, I found that I had amnesia and
  suffered from 'mild identify confusion.'

  "It doesn't take a crystal ball to foresee thousands of people
  finding themselves described in the pages of Steinberg's book and
  having their fears confirmed by its tests. Nor will it be very
  surprising if many of these people go to therapists who, wittingly
  or unwittingly, implant memories of childhood cruelty that never
  happened. No doubt some innocent people (especially parents,
  grandparents and siblings) will be accused of the 'remembered'
  abuse, and some may be sued or prosecuted. Some may even go to

Psychology Today published a reply from Steinberg wherein she claimed,
"Based on the highest standards of psychiatry, the SCID-D is now
considered the `gold standard' for identifying dissociative symptoms
and disorders." We can't help but wonder if Dr. Steinberg, long-time
Vice President of the International Society for the Study of
Dissociation, is aware that the gold standard has long been considered
discredited and that no nation has used it since 1937.

  1. Loftus, Elizabeth "The Most Dangerous Book You May Already Be
  Reading" Psychology Today, Nov/Dec 2000 pp 32-34, 84.

/                                                                    \
|                         ABOUT THE AUTHORS                          |
|                                                                    |
|     The jacket (and website) for Stranger in the Mirror says:      |
|                                                                    |
| "MARLENE STEINBERG, M.D is an associate professor of psychiatry at |
| the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and a research      |
| affiliate at Yale University School of Medicine."                  |
|                                                                    |
|   The faculty website [1] for the Dept of Psychiatry at U. Mass    |
| lists 222 names. Dr. Steinberg is not among them. After repeated   |
| phone calls, we finally learned that Dr. Steinberg is a "Voluntary |
| Research Associate Professor (without clinical privileges)."       |
|   The search engine at the Yale University website [2] finds 135   |
| webpages with the word "Steinberg." None of them contain "Marlene  |
| Steinberg." Repeated phone calls to the University failed to       |
| locate anyone who knew the nature of Dr. Steinberg's affiliation.  |
|   [1]                         |
|   [2]                              |
|                                                                    |
| MAXINE SCHNALL seems to have had many careers. In 1981 she called  |
| herself Doctor and invented something called "rational love."      |
| Carol Tavris noted in the New York Times that her Ph.D. was "from  |
| Columbia Pacific University, a nonaccredited California school     |
| from which one can, by mail, get a Ph.D. in psychology." (On       |
| December 2, 1999, Marin County Superior Court Judge Lynn Duryee    |
| ordered the university to close and to refund its student fees.)   |
|   In the 1980s Schnall was a talk-show hostess in Philadelphia and |
| later in Long Island.                                              |
|   On the January 1, 1992, Oprah Winfrey Show she appeared as       |
| "Maxine Schnall, Assertiveness Trainer."                           |
|   In a blurb for a recent book by Barbara De Angelis she is        |
| identified as "Maxine Schnall, founder and executive director of   |
| Wives' Self Help, the first marital hotline in America."           |


        "The Nazi's Daughter: The Therapist as Jewish Mother"
 Hara Mendelberg, Am J. of Psychotherapy, 54 (1) Winter 2000, 75-96.

Although Knapp & VandeCreek (see p. 2) write that there is a consensus
in the professional community that "memory recall of abuse is not
necessary for effective therapy to occur," and that "the focus of
treatment should be on the current functioning of the patient," in
this article the author assumes that "Symptoms could be alleviated
when the memory of the traumatic events, as well as the accompanying
overwhelming affect, were progressively uncovered, processed, and
integrated into words or actions."
    The following excerpts give an idea of the author's therapy

  "In a second stage, hypnosis was introduced and added for the
  purpose of relaxation and stabilization of symptoms. Inductions
  using deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and imagery
  were instrumental in balancing mood, motoric and physiological
  responses. Guided imagery was used for different purposes at
  different stages. First, a base exercise was established, then it
  was generalized from the office to everyday life, and finally used
  as a frame of reference when venturing into the later stage of
  uncovering. The patient generated her own images, which, in turn
  were used in subsequent sessions."

  "Two specific techniques applied to spontaneously generated material
  by the patient in trance allowed to access relevant past experience:
  a) Revivification and b) Age regression, which, in combination with
  psychoanalytic psychotherapy, helped to uncover, connect, and
  integrate fragmented recollections and flashbacks."

  "Age regression helped uncover the emotional and physical assaults
  she experienced in earlier developmental stages, at her father's

     |                 The Body Remembers:                 |
     | The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment |
     |        Babette Rothschild, W.W. Norton, 2000        |
     |                                                     |
     |                The title says it all.               |

        Is Memory for Misinformation `Remembered' or `Known'?
   Peter Frost Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2000, 7 (3), 531-536.

This research helps to explain how false memories become established.
Results for 100 students show that while the memory of actual
information tends to blur with the passage of time, people tend to
recall more misinformation over time and to judge it as more vivid.
False information comes to mind more readily a while after the event
than immediately after it.

/                                                                    \
|                             CORRECTION                             |
| Re: Nov/Dec issue in the write up of Miller v Marlow. Starla was   |
| not under the care of Marlow when she committed suicide. She was   |
| under the care of a psychiatrist in Texas. Marlow was the          |
| therapist who started the recovered-memory therapy for Starla.     |

                  Who Report Childhood Sexual Abuse"
     Gladstone et al. Am J Psychiatry 156:3 March 1999, 431-437.

The results of this study indicate that depression is unlikely a
direct consequence of childhood sexual abuse. Childhood sexual abuse
appears to be associated with a greater chance of having experienced a
broadly dysfunctional childhood home environment, a greater chance of
having a borderline personality style, and, in turn, a greater chance
of experiencing depression in adulthood.

/                                                                    \
| "It has been about 30 years since the first rumblings of           |
| discontent with the state of academic psychology began to be heard |
| ...It is a remarkable feature of mainstream academic psychology    |
| that, alone among the sciences, it should be almost wholly immune  |
| to critical appraisal as an enterprise. Methods that have long     |
| been shown to be ineffective or worse are still used on a routine  |
| basis by hundreds, perhaps thousands of people. Conceptual muddles |
| long exposed to view are evident in almost every issue of standard |
| psychology journals."                                              |
|                                                          Rom Harre |
|                                                   "Acts of Living" |
|                             Science, 289 (25) August 2000 p. 1303. |

                            Michael Clarke
                Daily Mail (London) November 20, 2000

In a survey of almost 3,000 young adults aged 18 to 24 years old, the
British National Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse found that
children are seven times more likely to be badly beaten by their
parents than they are to be sexually abused by them. The study found
that father-daughter incest is rare and that the majority of incest
perpetrators are brothers and stepbrothers.

/                                                                    \
| "A willingness to select victims pretty much at random, often in   |
| the absence of any proven or even reported crime, suggests that    |
| [many American] lynchings enact some base, communal dramaturgy,    |
| not wholly unlike what occurred in the witch-burning frenzies in   |
| northern Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and    |
| not wholly unlike, either, some of the repressed-memory            |
| molestation frenzies of our own time, one or two of them capable   |
| of sucking in whole communities."                                  |
|                                                     Larry McMurtry |
|                   The New York Review of Books, December 21, 2000. |

             Mazzoni, G.A.L., Loftus, E.F. and Kirsch, I.
           "Changing beliefs about autobiographical events:
               A little plausibility goes a long way."
          To appear: J. of Experimental Psychology: Applied
                              Allen Feld

"YES" is the answer to the question posed in the title, according to
Giuliana Mazzoni and her colleagues. Mazzoni et al.'s research
demonstrates that it can happen. Using a comprehensive research design
and sophisticated statistical analysis, the researchers delve into the
claims made that creating false memories of incest would be highly
unlikely. While accepting the reality that memories can be implanted,
Hyman and Kleinknecht[1] (1999) point out that for a suggestion to
lead to a false memory the event needs to be regarded as plausible. As
an example, Pezdek et al. (1997)[2] reported that they were able to
implant memories of being lost, a plausible event, in 15% of their
subjects. However, they were unable to implant a memory of receiving
a rectal enema, which they described as less plausible than being
    Mazzoni and her colleagues created an objective and comprehensive
research design that allowed important questions to be examined,
seemed scientifically faithful, incorporated appropriate statistical
measures, made appropriate use of a control group including intensive
debriefings. In the discussion they described their results without
bias and they avoided a polemic narrative. Obviously, this research is
important to families who are being falsely accused of incest and
strongly believe that the incest memory (a clearly implausible event)
was implanted.
    Two hypotheses were tested in Mazzoni et al.'s study: 1) "the
perceived plausibility of an event can be changed by suggestive
influence, and 2) when plausibility is increased, further suggestive
influences can increase ratings of the likelihood that an initially
implausible event has occurred." These hypotheses are directly
relevant to the false memory issue. It's fairly easy to conceive an
over-simplified scenario that relates to false memories of incest. An
adult goes to a therapist. Over a period of time, the therapist raises
the possibility that the client may be a victim of sexual abuse. The
client rejects this notion as implausible, yet continues seeing the
therapist. The therapist suggests reading material. Perhaps a visit
to a survivors' group is recommended. The client perceives that
others with similar concerns as hers/his have been victims of sexual
abuse and wonders if that might be the cause for the psychological
concerns being experienced. The initially implausible possibility,
sexual abuse, may now be seen as somewhat plausible.
    Three experiments were undertaken in Mazzoni et al.'s study.
Experiment 1 examined people who had not experienced the implausible
event (witnessing someone being "Possessed") and who believed being
"possessed" was highly improbable. Sixty-five students from the
University of Florence, from a total pool of 430 students who had
completed a set of rating scales, completed all phases of the
study. The group of 65 students was randomly assigned to three
groups. One group was exposed to readings that dealt with
"Possession," the implausible event. A second group, labeled the
choking group (having been told about swallowing something), was
assigned readings about that plausible event (described as "Almost
Choking"). The third group, the control group, received no suggested
    Phase 1 involved all subjects taking a test that asked them to
rate on a 1 to 8 scale how plausible it was for individuals to
experience each of 40 listed events including the implausible event of
"Witnessing Possession." Subjects then indicated their confidence in
the likelihood that each event happened to them in their childhood.
Phase 2, occurring three months later, asked the subjects in the two
experimental groups to read 12 one-page articles that randomly
included three articles on either possession or choking, depending on
their group. The control group received no such stimuli and skipped
this phase. Phase 3, held one week later, was a questionnaire that
ostensibly measured their fears and was interpreted as indicating they
probably had witnessed possession or nearly choked, depending on their
group. Again, the control group skipped this phase. In the fourth
phase, held one week later, the subjects rated the plausibility of
witnessing a possession or nearly choking. The "Witness Possession"
group saw possession as less implausible and they were more confident
in the likelihood that they witnessed such an event in early
    Experiment 2 examined the effect of the mini-articles alone,
without the fear questionnaire and interpretation, in changing the
perceived plausibility of an event. This time 71 different students
from a pool of 332 undergraduates completed all parts of the study.
Another change from Experiment 1 was that two implausible events,
"Witnessing Possession" and "Kidnapping Threat" were chosen. The
results also indicated that the simple suggestive impact of reading
about the implausible events seemed to increase their plausibility
ratings and the likelihood that it happened to them in childhood. The
likelihood ratings increase without the suggestions showed a more
modest increase.
    Experiment 3 investigated the effect of using a cultural and
historical setting different from the contemporary one used in the
first two experiments. Fifty-seven participants, who had not taken
part in the other studies, completed this experiment. This time only
one implausible event was used, "Witnessing Possession." Another
change was that a second group of mini-articles was used, but set in a
different country and a century earlier. Results showed that reading
the articles about other cultures and times significantly increased
plausibility but not likelihood ratings.
    This research is important in demonstrating that people can be led
to believe implausible events. Indeed, Mazzoni et al.'s closing
sentence in this article bears quoting: "It also reinforces the idea
that therapists need to be careful in their use of potentially
suggestive procedures that can change the perceived likelihood of
occurrence of unremembered events."

[1] Hyman, I.E., Jr.& Kleinknecht, E.E. (1999) "False childhood
    memories: Research, theory, and applications." In L. M. Williams &
    V. L. Banyards (Eds.) Trauma and Memory, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
[2] Pezdek, K., Finger, K., & Hodge, D. (1997). "Planting false
    childhood memories: The role of event Plausibility." Psychological
    Science, 8, 437-441.

  Allen Feld is Director of Continuing Education for the FMS
  Foundation. He has retired from the faculty of the School of Social
  Work at Marywood University in Pennsylvania.

/                                                                    \
|                         "Blind to Change"                          |
|                           Laura Spinney                            |
|                    New Scientist, Nov 18, 2000                     |
|                                                                    |
| Much of the focus in the false memory debate has been on the       |
| retrieval of memories. This article summarizes recent research     |
| about what information people actually see and remember. You may   |
| be surprised at the things most people miss. People see far less   |
| then they think they do.                                           |
|                                                                    |
| The article is available at:           |
|                                                                    |
| We urge readers to try one of the experiments mentioned in this    |
| article by logging onto the following website.                     |
|        |
| It is amazing!                                                     |


The New Zealand organization COSA (Casualties Of Sexual Allegations)
was formed in 1994 to address the epidemic of allegations of sexual
abuse arising from the use of "recovered memory therapy." COSA was
inundated with calls for help and the workload was such that in late
1996, we formed branches in Auckland and Christchurch.
    Mainly as a result of the work done by COSA in educating the
public, lawyers, politicians and professionals, and the constructive
criticism of theories, practices and beliefs underlying recovered
memory therapy, the number of new cases slowed. A decade later, they
have virtually disappeared and the epidemic appears to have ended.
   In the past year, the Auckland branch has had very few calls for
help, and only one case was based on "recovered memories." Many
members have gradually faded away as they adjusted to their personal
situations. Remaining members believe that the organization has run
its natural course and should close.
    The Auckland group of COSA ceased operations on 31 October 2000.
The Christchurch group will continue to operate.

/                                                                    \
| "The civil and criminal cases recounted in Richard Ofshe and Ethan |
| Watters' Making Monsters: False Memories, Psychotherapy, and       |
| Sexual Hysteria (1994) will be examined for a very long time by    |
| those seeking to understand how bad therapy and bad law fed on     |
| each other to inflict on the courts the recovered-memory and       |
| daycare-abuse hysterias of the early 1990s. Future generations     |
| will marvel at the credulity and sentimentality that paralyzed the |
| normal operations of skepticism, so that the most outlandish       |
| accusations were enough to send people to prison or put them       |
| through terrible ordeals.                                          |
|                                                       Walter Olson |
|                                                       "Legal help" |
|                                              Reason 53, 12/01/2000 |

                            "NEURAL EVENTS
       that Underlie Remembering Something that Never Happened"
                 Gonsalves, Brian and Paller, Ken A.
            Nature Neuroscience 3 (11) Dec 2000 1316-1321.

Results of experiments indicate that visual imagery is involved in the
generation of false memories and provide neural correlates of
processing differences between true and false memories. The authors
found that brain activity varies depending on whether a memory is true
or false. The study provides evidence from brain activity that a
person may imagine that something has happened, and then the brain
later remembers the event as if it had really occurred.

/                                                                    \
|                     The Crisis in Foster Care                      |
|                                                                    |
| "Five years ago there were about a quarter of a million children   |
| in the country's foster-care system. Today that number has         |
| doubled, to between 550,000 and 560,000 children. Often these are  |
| held hostage to abuse and neglect, to bureaucratic foulups and     |
| carelessness, condemned to futures in which dreams cannot come     |
| true."                                                             |
|                                                                    |
| "[N]eglect and a quagmire of child-swallowing bureaucracies plague |
| the system. And the incidence of neglect, physical and sexual      |
| abuse of children in the various foster-care systems is feared to  |
| be significantly higher than the incidence in the general          |
| population. Nobody bothers to keep an accurate count, but in round |
| numbers, more than 7,500 children are tortured under what is       |
| technically government protection."                                |
|                                                    Roche, Timothy  |
|                                       "The Crisis of Foster Care"  |
|                                               Time, Nov. 13, 2000  |


The Menninger Clinic plans to relocate in 2002, moving from Topeka,
Kansas, where it has been for 75 years, to Houston. The relocation is
part of a partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Methodist
Health Care system. Insurance restrictions that dramatically reduced
the number of approved hospital days were a factor in the decision to
relocate. These restrictions have caused financial problems that
reduced the Menninger endowment from $129 million in 1998 to $104
million this year.
    The Menninger Clinic has long played a prominent role in American
psychiatry. After World War II, one-third of all psychiatrists being
trained in the country were enrolled in Menninger. The clinic has
treated about 224,000 patients.

  David Miles, "Topeka Losing Renowned Clinic" 
  Philadelphia Inquirer,  Oct 3, 2000.

/                                                                    \
|  "By regarding a phenomenon as a psychiatric diagnosis -- treating |
| it, reifying it in psychiatric diagnostic manuals, developing      |
| instruments to measure it, inventing scales to rate its severity,  |
| establishing ways to reimburse the costs of its treatment,         |
| encouraging pharmaceutical companies to search for effective       |
| drugs, directing patients to support groups, writing about         |
| possible causes in journals -- psychiatrists may be unwittingly    |
| colluding with broader cultural forces to contribute to the spread |
| of a mental disorder."                                             |
|                               Carl Elliott, "A New Way to be Mad," |
|                                                  Atlantic Monthly, |
|                                             Dec.  2000, pp. 73 -84 |

                       L E G A L   C O R N E R
                              FMSF Staff

                    Kristi Jones v. Dorothy Lurie
               No 14-98-01097-CV Fourteenth Ct Appeals
                             Nov. 2, 2000
In May, 1998 a Houston jury found psychotherapist Dorothy Lurie not
responsible for her patient's mental anguish after she helped the
woman recover false memories of murdering babies and cannibalism. The
plaintiff, Kristi Jones appealed the decision, but the appeal court
affirmed the trial decision. See FMSF Newsletter June 1998 Vol 7 No 5.

                 Johnson v. Rogers Memorial Hospital
The lawsuit filed by Charles and Karen Johnson against Rogers
Hospital, Kay Phillips, Jeff Hollowell and Tim Reisenaur (No. 98-0445)
has been accepted for review by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The
Johnsons claim injuries after their daughter accused them of abuse
while being treated by the three therapists. Attorney William Smoler
is representing the Johnsons.
    On appeal: Johnson v. Rogers Memorial Hospital No 98-0445 Ct of
Appeals of Wisc, Dist 4, 2000 Wisc. App. LEXIS 642, Jul 13, 2000.

                           Wenatchee Update

Wenatchee sex ring prisoner was released from prison on December 7 as
a result of a reference hearing ordered by the appeals court. Rose,
who was arrested and tried in 1994 and 1995 and convicted by a jury,
has maintained his innocence.
    BOB DEVEREAUX's civil-rights lawsuit will again be heard by the
U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Last July, a 2-1 vote by a
three-judge panel agreed with a lower court that Devereaux's rights
had not been violated. The rehearing may be a result of the very
strong dissent in the panel decision.
                       "Court of Appeals to Hear Devereaux Case Again"
                                      Wenatchee World, Dec.  20, 2000.
    HAROLD and IDELLA EVERETT have had their parental rights restored
for four of their five children. The Everetts' two daughters were
foster children of Wenatchee police Detective Bob Perez and his wife
during the height of the investigations. They have since recanted the
dozens of accusations they made.
               "Parental Rights Restored in Wenatchee Child Sex Case,"
                                       Associated Press, Dec. 20, 2000
    The Innocence Project was started by Barry Scheck and Peter
Neufeld in New York City in 1992. Scheck and Neufeld have pioneered
the use of DNA testing to free the wrongly convicted,and Project
Innocence has been the stimulus behind the release of the Wenatchee
prisoners. Scheck and Neufeld are now calling for a state commission
to reinvestigate the largely discredited child sex-abuse cases of the
mid-1990s so that a similar debacle does not happen again and so that
officials are held accountable.

          Legal Articles That May Be of Interest to Readers

Grove W.M. & Barden R. C. "Protecting the Integrity of the Legal
System: The Admissibility of Testimony From Mental Health Experts
Under Daubert/Kumho Analyses" Psychology, Public Policy, and Law
1999. Vol. 5, No.1, 224-242.

Miller, M. A. "The Unreliability of Testimony From a Witness With
Multiple Personality Disorder MPD): Why Courts Must Acknowledge the
Connection Between Hypnosis and MPD and Adopt a "Per Se" Rule of
Exclusion for MPD Testimony" Pepperdine Law Review 2000, 27
Pepp. L. Rev. 193.

Slovenko, R. "Commentary: Psychiatric Opinion Without Examination"
Journal of Psychiatry & Law 28, Spring 2000, 103-143.

/                                                                    \
| "In practical terms, the debate has had two major effects. First,  |
| proponents of `recovered memory therapy' are now almost impossible |
| to find within the ranks of leading psychiatrists and              |
| psychologists . . .  Second, good practice now requires both the   |
| therapist and the client to adopt a critical attitude towards any  |
| apparent memory that is recovered after a period of amnesia,       |
| whether or not this is within a therapeutic context, and not to    |
| assume that it necessarily corresponds to a true event."           |
|                                                    Chris R. Brewin |
|                            "Recovered memories and false memories" |
|                        Volume 1  New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry |
|            (Edited by Gelder, M, Lopez-Ibor, J. and Andreasen, N.) |
|                         Oxford University Press, 2000,  pp 771-774 |

                           Robert Chattell

In 1966, at age 42, Violet Amirault got off welfare by starting a
daycare in her Malden home. For 18 years, the school cared for
thousands of youngsters without incident. In April 1984, Violet's son
GERALD changed into fresh clothing a four-year-old who wet himself
during a nap, and sent the wet things home in a plastic bag. The
mother became alarmed and started quizzing her son about sexual abuse.
(The McMartin case was major national news at this time.) Nearly five
months later, he told his mother that Gerald blindfolded him every day
at preschool, took him to a "secret room" and performed various sex
acts. The mother called a hotline. Gerald was arrested, panic ensued,
and police and social workers called a meeting where parents were told
to interrogate their children and not to take no for an answer.
Children were also suggestively interrogated by police and social
workers, using since discredited props such as anatomically correct
dolls. Violet, Gerald, and Gerald's sister, CHERYL LeFAVE, were all
brought to trial. Much of the testimony was incredible, but jurors
became convinced that something must have happened. Gerald was
sentenced to 30-40 years; his mother and sister, to 8-20 years.
    In August 1995, Cheryl and Violet were granted new trials and
freed on bail. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) voided
this order on April 29, 1997, claiming that finality was more
important than justice. Judge Isaac Borenstein issued additional
new-trial orders on May 9, 1997 and June 18, 1998. Violet died on
September, 12 1997. The SJC ordered Cheryl back to prison in August
1999. District Attorney Martha Coakley balked and agreed to a revise-
and-revoke order keeping Cheryl out of prison, provided she agree to
terms such as not discussing the case on TV. In April 2000, Gerald
petitioned the governor for commutation, but no action has yet been
taken. Contributions to the Amirault defense fund can be sent (with an
explanatory note) to The Funding Exchange, Attn: Judy Hatcher, 666
Broadway, New York NY 10012

BERNARD BARAN, a gay teenager from a working-class family in
Pittsfield, dropped out of school in May 1981 and enrolled in the CETA
program. In January 1983, he was assigned to a day care program, the
Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC). Many of its children came
from homes where alcoholism, drug abuse, sex abuse, and violence were
rampant. "Peter Hanes" (an alias) came from one of the worst. Shortly
after Gerald Amirault's arrest, Peter's stepfather called EDCD to
complain about 19-year-old Baran's homosexuality. A month later, both
parents accused Baran of sexually abusing their son.
    The police charged into the school, telling the staff that Baran
was suspected of child rape. Word spread like wildfire, parents
anxiously questioned their children, and meetings were called.
Children were encouraged to play with anatomically correct dolls. Five
additional accusations were created. Before trial, Peter made a much
more credible sexual-abuse accusation against one of his mother's
boyfriends. But the authorities barely investigated. The mother of
another accuser, "Virginia Stone," used illicit drugs with the Hanes
parents. Eight months after Baran's conviction, Virginia told her
therapist that Baran had done nothing but that her mother had told her
to say he had so they could get a lot of money.
    Baran's family hired a $500-retainer lawyer who did little. The
trial was a farce, with homophobic grandstanding by the prosecutor.
The kids responded to his questions with nods and monosyllables. When
a child gave a wrong answer, the prosecutor just repeated the question
until the "right" answer was produced. Much hearsay was admitted and
defense objections were routinely overruled.
    Baran was convicted and sentenced to three concurrent life terms.
He was raped for the first time four days after being sent to Walpole.
Rapes and brutal beatings were common in the facility. A suicide
attempt got him transferred to Bridgewater State Hospital in 1989.
Public defenders are working on a new motion for a new trial.
    Contributions can be sent to The Bernard Baran Justice Committee,
POB 230783, Boston MA 02123-0783.

RAY and SHIRLEY SOUZA raised five children in Lowell. Ray worked as an
electrical lineman and Shirley was a nurse. The youngest daughter,
Shirley Ann, sought counseling after a near date rape, and was
encouraged to read The Courage to Heal. On Father's Day, 1990, Shirley
Ann dreamt she was raped by her father, her oldest brother, and her
mother. She called her sister-in-law, Heather, to tell them that Ray
and Shirley were child molesters. Heather took her five-year-old
daughter, Cindy, to a psychologist. When the psychologist said there
was no evidence of sexual abuse, Heather found another counselor eager
to "validate" the accusation. Sharon, another daughter, then became
convinced that her own daughter, Nancy, had been molested by the
grandparents. The two little girls were repeatedly grilled by their
mothers, therapists, social workers, and police until they gave in and
    The case came to trial in January 1993. The Souza's attorney
foolishly advised them to waive their right to a jury trial, even
though the judge was Elizabeth Dolan, who had shown her biases when
she'd presided over Gerald Amirault's trial. There was no physical
evidence against the Souzas. Nancy testified that her grandparents had
stuck their entire hands and heads into her vagina and wiggled them
around. Cindy claimed to have been locked in a cage in the basement.
    Dolan was hostile to the Souzas' expert witness, Columbia
University psychiatrist Richard Gardner, who criticized the highly
suggestive interviewing techniques and the use of anatomically correct
dolls. The prosecution presented "experts" from Boston's Children's
Hospital: Dr. Leslie Campis, who rehashed Dr. Roland Summit's
unfounded and discredited "child abuse accommodation" theory, and Dr.
Andre Vandeven, who claimed that Nancy's anal dilation was "consistent
with anal penetration." Under cross-examination, she said that non-
dilation was also consistent with penetration.
    The Souzas were sentenced to 9-15 years under house arrest. All
appeals have failed. At present there are no plans for further appeals
and no defense fund.

BRUCE CLAIRMONT of Pittsfield separated from his wife, Deborah, in
June 1991. Bruce had visitation rights with their five children on
Sunday afternoons. In July 1991, "Neal," on his twelfth birthday, was
caught in sex experimentation with his 8-year-old sister. Deborah and
the two children began seeing an unlicensed social worker, just out of
school. The social worker interpreted Neal's behavior as evidence of
molestation by Bruce. Deborah accused Bruce of touching the children's
genitals when he bathed them when young. (Bruce, like Deborah, washed
the children's genitals with a washcloth when they were too young to
bathe themselves.) The Department of Social Services (DSS) got
involved in January 1993. The children were interviewed and they
denied abuse. But Deborah and social workers persisted until they
    In April 1993, a Guardian ad Litem was appointed by the court and
Dr. William Hydon, a licensed clinical psychologist, was asked to
investigate the abuse claims. In August, Hydon issued a report
detailing why he thought no abuse had occurred and recommending that
visitation resume. Undaunted, Deborah took the children to a
pediatrician. Nothing abnormal was found, but the doctor reported a
skin tag near Neal's anus. Before the grand jury and during the
criminal trial, a detective falsely testified that Neal had an anal
    Bruce went to trial on December 6, 1994. His lawyer provided a
shoddy defense. He was convicted and sentenced on December 21, 1994.
He lost his direct appeal. He was eligible for parole this year, but
was denied because he refuses to admit to crimes he did not commit. A
motion for a new trial is in process.
    Contributions can be sent to Bruce Clairmont Defense Fund, 
c/o Carol Weissbrod, 1866 Washington Mt Rd, Washington, MA 01223

Because many dubious convictions have been overturned elsewhere,
people often ask, "Why has it been so difficult to obtain justice in
liberal Massachusetts?" Back in the 60s, when the busing crisis
exposed Boston's racism, people similarly asked, "How can this be
happening in liberal Massachusetts?" The state's liberalism is a myth,
believed primarily because Massachusetts is the Kennedys' home state.
    Many factors mitigate against justice here. Our hostility towards
civil liberties goes back nearly 400 years -- as does our Puritanical
horror of sex. We hung the Salem witches and electrocuted Sacco and
Vanzetti. Corruption, cronyism, and class and ethnic warfare are
still rife. Victims-rights liberals have allied themselves with
anti-crime conservatives. The people of Massachusetts, however, are
good and decent and will do the right thing once they understand what
has been happening. Thus our best hope for justice here is that the
people will lead and that elected officials and judges eventually will
follow. We must work because the system doesn't.
    Massachusetts is a one-party state and many powerful Democrats --
including former gubernatorial nominee Scott Harshbarger, Attorney
General Tom Reilly, and Middlesex DA Martha Coakley -- built their
careers on these shoddy convictions.

  Bob Chatelle is Co-Director of the Bernard Baran Justice Committee
  and has lived in Massachusetts for over 40 years. Sources for this
  article include his personal research and published material by
  Dorothy Rabinowitz, Mark Pendergrast, and Carol Weissbrod.

/                                                                    \
| "A consequence of FMS societies is that they have brought the      |
| magnitude of the problem to public attention, and appear to have   |
| been instrumental in reducing the volume of such accusations in    |
| recent times. This, though, may be a function of "recovered        |
| memory" therapists modifying their techniques over the last few    |
| years, and instructing their patients not to sue their parents,    |
| and advising them to testify in court that they always remembered  |
| being sexually abused during childhood, but had not felt           |
| comfortable about coming forward until recently. In other words,   |
| the FMS problem may be becoming more severe, despite indications   |
| to the contrary."                                                  |
|                                                    Campbell Perry  |
|                        "Hypnosis and the Elicitation of Repressed  |
|                                       and/or Dissociated Memories" |
|                   Hypnos Vol. XXVII, No. 3, Sept. 2000  pp 124-130 |

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S
                            The Phone Rang
Maybe our experience will provide a little sprig of hope for some who
may be inclined to give up.
    Nearly eleven years ago, two of our grown daughters accused us,
then cut off all contact. For over ten years we had no direct contact,
heard neither their voices nor the voices of our four cherished
grandchildren. By direct or indirect means, we have sent messages or
gifts, which have often been "refused" or accepted in silence.
    On April 24, 2000, the phone rang. The call was from one of the
accusing daughters. Her voice was cheerful and pleasant and she asked
how we were, but there was no mention of "the problem." Ostensibly her
purpose was to let us know she had decided to divorce her husband and
she needed help getting a job. We were informed that any future
contact was to be initiated by her. Shortly before the phone call, her
mother had written her a letter and we think that may have helped
trigger the first phone call.
    On June 25, our daughter came to her brother's wedding reception
and dinner. She stayed three hours visiting with her two sisters,
brother and nearly 50 cousins. My wife and I had practically no
opportunity to visit with her, but she seemed to have a good time and
everyone welcomed her with open arms. When she was ready to leave she
sought out my wife and me and gave us each a hug before she left.
    Since then, she attended my brother's funeral and a family get-
together. She also came to my birthday celebration. Her siblings have
had additional contact with her.
    Where, if anyplace, things will go from here I do not know. The
oldest daughter is still very hostile and I have still had no contact
with any of the grandchildren.
    After more than ten years, a contact has been made and our hope
still springs eternal.
    God bless the FMS Foundation for your work in ferreting out the
truth and giving hope and guidance to those who feel so helpless.
                                                         A hopeful dad
                       What a Way for a Return
In January 1993 we got our call -- straight out of Bass and Davis --
to come to California to meet our daughter's "psychiatrist." The
confrontation was devastating. We had never heard of repressed
memories and, I'm ashamed to admit, I wondered if it could be true.
    Within a week my husband was at Johns Hopkins Sexual Dysfunction
Clinic willingly going through humiliating tests to prove his
innocence. Fred Berlin, head of the clinic, said "no way" and
directed us to an upcoming meeting of the new FMS organization to be
held in Valley Forge, PA. It was a real eye-opener into what was
    We hired a private investigator who found that my daughter's
"psychiatrist" was a well-known psychic with no formal training.
Everything she had told us was a lie.
    But my daughter was gone from us. She left the country for a year
with no letters or calls. We only knew she was well through others.
During the next five years our short visits and telephone calls were
limited and strained and uncomfortable. Each year it was a little
better, but she needed our financial support.
    Three months ago everything changed. I got pancreatic cancer with
only limited time to live. Now she talks on the phone every day, spent
three weeks taking care of me, is coming for the holidays and truly
loves me. Most important, she says she understands and accepts her
father's faults and hugs him when she visits and has pleasant
conversations with him. She almost, but not quite, wrote a retraction.
    Her psychic is on probation for practicing everything without a
license, but she is still doing the same thing making a good living
off insecure young women.
    What I know is there is hope out there, but what an awful way to
get a child to return.
    I don't know which is worse -- losing an only daughter or having a
terminal illness.
                                          From a sick but happy mother
                           Personal Survey 
My sisters in California and Oklahoma were already aware of the
Recovered/False Memory problem from their involvement in their
churches. My relatives in Oklahoma tell me that within the last month,
they were given a presentation and movie on the benefits of Inner
Healing. Their churches' eventual position was that the therapy did
not involve unconditional forgiveness, and therefore was not a
Christian approach. My brother in Colorado indicated that he received
a letter last year from their day care center indicating that there
had been a report of child abuse. It included a list of dubious
symptoms, a phone number for the local investigator, but little
information about how to treat the issue constructively. They were
happy that their current circumstances allowed them to not send their
child to day care this year.
    So, from my small family survey, my sisters were aware and very
helpful. But us males were very much in the dark, absolutely clueless.
We are less likely to talk about such things amongst our peers. This
is not a topic discussed at work, the local watering hole or golf
courses. This does point to the importance of family support and the
FMSF website, an excellent source for the more geek prone dads. Please
keep up the good work.
                           Is This Normal?
It has been over 10 years now since our daughter falsely accused her
mother and grandmother of physical and sexual abuse. This resulted
from so called "repressed memory." Supposedly this took place when she
was five to eight years of age. Our daughter was 28 when it was
brought to our attention. She is now 38 and has never married. Her
siblings have never agreed with her and there is no communication
between them. About three years ago our relationship started to warm
and it was getting better all the time. She never admitted wrong-doing
so we agreed to disagree. Last January she went on a trip to India.
Since returning, she has brought up the same old accusations that she
did 10 years ago. We are baffled by her actions as we had been
communicating pretty well.
    Are her new actions normal? Does this happen frequently?
                                                        A Confused Dad
                     Is the FMSF Antipsychiatric?
I have written to the Foundation previously, and have been a reader of
the Newsletter since its inception, since early on I was convinced
that there was an epidemic of false accusations based on the
suggestibility of children and adults. However, I believe that
something is happening to the Foundation, and it has become a
mouthpiece for an antipsychiatric crusade. I think the Foundation is
diverting from its original purpose. I wonder if the Foundation is
seeking a new purpose now that the forgotten memory syndrome is
    I am prompted to write again in response to your reprinting of
Paul McHugh's statement originally printed in The Weekly Standard.
What did that statement have to do with forgotten memories? Rather it
is an attack on Freud and on the American Psychiatric Association. I
would guess that Dr. McHugh knows little of Marxism, and he may very
well know little of Freudianism. Be that as it may, I still wonder why
you chose to print his views. Was it because he was Professor of
psychiatry at Johns Hopkins? I don't hold such an esteemed position,
but will you print my letter?
    Sincerely yours,
                                                   Leo H. Berman, M.D.
                             The Passing
John Einen and I knew each other for over 45 years, since before
either of us was married. We started at the telephone company
together, skied together, played poker, and even dated the same pretty
girl once. I knew him well. Of all my friends, John had the highest
code of ethics and integrity. He was honest to a fault and always a
gentleman. I admired him greatly. We played a lot of golf together
over the years, had many intense conversations, solving all the worlds
problems. He was opinionated however.
    As the years rolled by, I heard many times how he loved his girls
and looked forward to bouncing his grand kids on his knee, and about
the trip to Norway he and his wife took after his retirement. He lived
for his family. Then in 1991, the bomb dropped. I was working in
Seattle and he called me and said he had to talk. He came up for the
weekend and told me of his daughter's accusations and that his wife
had filed for divorce. He was a basket case. That was the first time I
ever held a man in my arms while he cried his heart out, over and
over. He wanted to die and I spent many anxious moments talking him
out of self destruction.
    He was alone and in total agony. I learned about the FMS
Foundation and Chuck Noah was in the news at the time so I finally got
you all together and you saved his life. God bless you all. As he
became more involved with your group he began to recover. Meeting and
helping others was therapeutic, and his marvelous sense of humor began
returning along with his abilities to transfer his pain into caring
for others. He was proud to know Elizabeth Loftus and other FMSF
Advisory Board members.
    I spent a lot of time with him the last month before he died.
John's oldest daughter had stayed in contact with her Dad to some
degree, but would not talk about the accusations with him and thought
the FMSF was a cult, so he never had any help from anyone in his
immediate family in dispelling the charges. She was with John day and
night until the day of his passing. Two of his other daughters showed
up to tell him good-bye. The accuser said, "John (not Dad) I hope you
found peace." I think she said something about forgiving him. He rose
up and asked, "For what, What did I do?" She said, "well, you know."
He responded, "No I don't know, I did nothing to you or any one else
and you know it." Then an argument ensued about the False Memory
Foundation. She moved away and stood over in the corner with intense
anguish on her face but said no more.
    John died on October 23rd at 8:30 P.M.
                                                         John's friend
                           It Feels Strange
The telephone call I never thought would come was on my voicemail when
I returned from the gym the evening of September 4. It was my daughter
calling to let me know where she was, leaving me her phone number and
asking me to call her back. She went on to say that she wanted to
apologize for the accusations she'd made against the family and for
any pain she may have caused.
    The last time I had seen her was when she came to town in January,
1994. Since she was still deeply committed to her accusations, we met
in a public place for coffee for a couple of hours. I made the
stipulation that we not talk about her charges of Satanic Ritual
Abuse, so we just caught up a little. I had not seen her since 1987
and it was a relief just to know that she was alive. But I did not
hear from her after that evening. I tried to find her but all mail was
    Every month I would read parents' letters in the FMSF Newsletter
about the return of their sons and daughters. I had resigned myself to
the fact that I might never receive such a call. Sometimes, going to
monthly meetings was extremely painful, as many of the folks would
announce their reunions with their lost daughters.
    It took me about an hour to get control of myself after hearing
her message on that Monday night. I called her back and we talked for
an hour. She told me that she began to doubt her accusations about two
years ago, when she decided she wanted more out of life than being a
victim. She related how she left her "survivors" group and found a new
group of friends who supported her doubts. She confronted her
therapist who, of course, dropped her like a hot potato. She moved to
a different state with some of her new friends. There she met a man,
fell in love and married. He encouraged her to call us. She wanted to
"have her act together" before she called. When she finally called,
two years after her move, she sounded focused and happy. She also
called her sister, who had not supported her charges and was, thus,
also cut off.
    I must tell you that it feels strange to have my daughter back
again. It still doesn't seem real. And when I pick up the phone and
call her and hear her voice, it seems like a miracle.
    By the way, my daughter came across some literature from FMSF
while she was coming out of her nightmare and she asked me if I had
ever heard of it! Where else did I receive support, comfort and
sustenance over the past years if not from FMSF? I could never have
survived this ordeal without all the kind folks I have met through
FMSF. My thanks to you all.
                                                           A Happy Mom
                          Don't Condemn All
I am the father who was the subject of the article by Kathy Begert in
the Nov/Dec issue of the FMS Newsletter..
    Let me explain the functions of the dependency court and
volunteers who help. The volunteers (CASA and GAL) have absolutely
nothing to do with finding parents guilty or even accusing them of any
crime. Dependency arises when a child protection team is sent to the
home because of information given by the police, a doctor, a teacher,
a relative, or even one of the parents, and sometimes a combination of
all of these. If the team finds sufficient evidence, the dependency
judge is asked for permission to temporarily shelter the children.
>From that point forward the efforts of the entire court are directed
toward helping the parents be reunited with their children. The
parents are not charged with any crime but are helped in every way
possible to "get their act together." A case plan is developed with
the participation of everyone involved. Goals are set and most often
these entail drug and/or alcohol rehab programs, parenting and anger
management classes.
    The GAL/CASA volunteers cannot and do not desire to query the
child or the parent about why they have been declared dependent. Their
sole purpose is to ensure the well being of the child being sheltered.
This involves frequent visits to where the child is sheltered, which
may be a foster home, a relative, or even a parent who has not been
involved in the problem, to see that the child is clean, well
nourished, reasonably happy and that any medical problems are being
cared for.
    Instead of falsely accusing the parents as stated by Ms. Begert,
these volunteers are working hard to see that the children are safe
and well until the parents are ready to be reunited with them.
    I recently attended a three-day conference that was attended by
hundreds of volunteers, judges, lawyers, social workers and others
working to help children. There were 18 sessions. Not once did I hear
the term "repressed memory" even mentioned or alluded to. One of the
lawyers had worked for four years and had finally succeeded in getting
a law passed that requires judges to ensure that any child 14 or under
who is being questioned be addressed in language that he or she can
understand. The law in Florida states that a child can only be
interrogated once. The CASA/GAL volunteers are empowered by the court
to enforce this law. I implore Ms. Begert and Newsletter readers to
visit a few sessions of a dependency court. I don't think anyone will
then say that we are all monsters.
                                                          A Caring Dad

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*                         PSYCHOLOGY ASTRAY:                         *
*                   by Harrison G. Pope, Jr., M.D.                   *
*                            Upton Books                             *
*                                                                    *
* This is an indispensable guide for any person who wants or needs   *
* to understand the research claims about recovered memories. A      *
* review by Stuart Sutherland in the prestigious Nature magazine     *
* (July 17, 1997) says that the book is a "model of clear thinking   *
* and clear exposition."  The book is an outgrowth of the "Focus on  *
* Science" columns that have appeared in this newsletter.            *
*                                                                    *
*                                FREE                                *
*             "Recovered Memories: Are They Reliable?"               *
*     Call or write the FMS Foundation for pamphlets. Be sure to     *
*     include your address and the number of pamphlets you need.     *
*                                                                    *
*                           BRUCE PERKINS                            *
*                                                                    *
*    In the July/August newsletter we wrote about the auction of     *
*      his paintings at April FMSF conference in White Plains.       *
*                                                                    *
*      Bruce resides in a Texas prison because of RMT therapy.       *
*         He wanted to make a contribution to the Foundation         *
*                   in the only way that he could.                   *
*                                                                    *
*      For those of you who were not able to be present at the       *
*     conference, you can now see Bruce's work on a new website.     *
*                 *
*                                                                    *
*               You can learn more about Bruce's case                *
*                  by reading his story written by                   *
*             Eleanor Goldstein and Mark Pendergrast at              *
*                 *
*                                                                    *
*   Back issues of the FMSF Newsletter to March 1992, the start of   *
*           FMSF, are now available at www.           *
*                                                                    *
*                       SMILING THROUGH TEARS                        *
*                 Pamela Freyd and Eleanor Goldstein                 *
*                 Upton Books ISBN No 9-89777.125.7                  *
*                               $14.95                               *
*                                                                    *
* Over 125 cartoons by more than 65 cartoonists lead the way through *
* a description of the complex web of psychological and social       *
* elements that have nurtured the recovered memory movement.  Ask    *
* your bookstore to order the book or call 1-800-232-7477.           *
*                                                                    *
*                             Comments:                              *
*                                                                    *
*           Alan Gold, Criminal Defense Attorney, Toronto            *
*                                                                    *
*              AND OTHER IDEAS MENTIONED IN THE BOOK."               *
*               Mort Walker, Creator of Beetle Bailey                *
*                                                                    *
*                         "IT'S A MUST READ"                         *
*                      Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.                       *
*                 Author of Myth of Repressed Memory                 *
*                                                                    *
* Smiling through Tears will be available in bookstores in November. *
* Ask your bookstore to order the book. For brochures about the book *
* call 1-800-232-7477 and ask for Stacey.                            *
*                                                                    *
*                          ESTATE  PLANNING                          *
*                 If you have questions about how to                 *
*             include the FMSF in your estate planning,              *
*               contact Charles Caviness 800-289-9060.               *
*            (Available 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.)            *
*                                                                    *
*                      WEB  SITES  OF  INTEREST                      *
*                                                                    *
*                                    *
*      Contains phone numbers of professional regulatory boards      *
*                          in all 50 states                          *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                   Illinois-Wisconsin FMS Society                   *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                Australian False Memory Association.                *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                    British False Memory Society                    *
*                                                                    *
*                              *
*            This site is run by Laura Pasley (retractor)            *
*                                                                    *
*               *
*             This site is run by Deb David (retractor)              *
*                                                                    *
*                         *
*                            Upton Books                             *
*                                                                    *
*                   *
*                   Having trouble locating books                    *
*               about the recovered memory phenomenon?               *
*                     Recovered Memory Bookstore                     *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*                Information about the play "Denial"                 *
*                                                                    *
*                     LEGAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST                     *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                                       *
*                                           *
*                                                                    *
*                           DID YOU MOVE?                            *
*        Do you have a new area code? Remember to inform the         *
*                        FMSF Business Office                        *
*                                                                    *
                F M S    B U L L E T I N    B O A R D

Contacts & Meetings:

        Marge 334-244-7891
  Kathleen 907-337-7821
  Barbara 602-924-0975; 602-854-0404 (fax)
  Little Rock
        Al & Lela 870-363-4368
        Joanne & Gerald 916-933-3655
  San Francisco & North Bay - (bi-MO)
        Gideon 415-389-0254 or
        Charles 415-984-6626 (am); 415-435-9618 (pm)
  San Francisco & South Bay
        Eric 408-245-4493
  East Bay Area - (bi-MO)
        Judy 925-376-8221
  Central Coast
        Carole 805-967-8058
  Central Orange County - 1st Fri. (MO) @ 7pm
        Chris & Alan 714-733-2925
  Covina Area - 1st Mon. (MO) @7:30pm
        Floyd & Libby 626-330-2321
  San Diego Area 
        Dee 619-941-4816
  Colorado Springs
        Doris 719-488-9738
  S. New England
        Earl 203-329-8365 or
        Paul 203-458-9173
        Madeline 954-966-4FMS
  Boca/Delray  - 2nd & 4th Thurs (MO) @1pm
        Helen 561-498-8684
  Central Florida - Please call for mtg. time
        John & Nancy 352-750-5446
        Francis & Sally 941-342-8310
  Tampa Bay Area
        Bob & Janet 813-856-7091
        Wallie & Jill 770-971-8917
  Carolyn 808-261-5716
  Chicago & Suburbs - 1st Sun. (MO)
        Eileen 847-985-7693 or
        Liz & Roger 847-827-1056
        Bryant & Lynn 309-674-2767
  Indiana Assn. for Responsible Mental Health Practices
        Nickie 317-471-0922; fax 317-334-9839
        Pat 219-489-9987
  Des Moines - 1st Sat. (MO) @11:30 am Lunch
        Betty & Gayle 515-270-6976
  Wichita - Meeting as called
        Pat 785-738-4840
  Louisville- Last Sun. (MO) @ 2pm
        Bob 502-367-1838
        Carolyn 207-942-8473
  Protland - 4th Sun.(MO)
        Wally & Boby 207-878-9812
   Andover - 2nd Sun. (MO) @ 1pm
        Frank 978-263-9795
  Grand Rapids Area-Jenison - 1st Mon. (MO)
        Bill & Marge 616-383-0382
  Greater Detroit Area
        Nancy 248-642-8077
  Ann Arbor
        Martha 734-439-8119
        Terry & Collette 507-642-3630
        Dan & Joan 651-631-2247
  Kansas City  -  Meeting as called
        Pat 785-738-4840
  St. Louis Area  -  call for meeting time
        Karen 314-432-8789
  Springfield - 4th Sat. Apr,Jul,Oct @12:30pm
        Tom 417-753-4878
        Roxie 417-781-2058
  Lee & Avone 406-443-3189
        Sally 609-927-5343
        Nancy 973-729-1433 
  Albuquerque  -2nd Sat. (bi-MO) @1 pm
  Southwest Room - Presbyterian Hospital
        Maggie 505-662-7521 (after 6:30 pm)
        Sy 505-758-0726
  Westchester, Rockland, etc.
        Barbara 914-761-3627
  Upstate/Albany Area
        Elaine 518-399-5749
  Susan 704-538-7202
        Bob 513-541-0816 or 513-541-5272
        Bob & Carole 440-356-4544
  Oklahoma City
        Dee 405-942-0531
        Jim 918-297-7719
  Portland area
        Kathy 503-557-7118
        Paul & Betty 717-691-7660
        Rick & Renee 412-563-5509
        John 717-278-2040
  Wayne (includes S. NJ) - 2nd Sat. (MO)
        Jim & Jo 610-783-0396
  Nashville - Wed. (MO) @1pm
        Kate 615-665-1160
        Jo or Beverly 713-464-8970
   El Paso
        Mary Lou 915-591-0271
        Keith 801-467-0669
        Mark 802-872-8439
        Sue 703-273-2343
        Katie & Leo 414-476-0285 or
        Susanne & John 608-427-3686

  Vancouver & Mainland 
        Ruth 604-925-1539
  Victoria & Vancouver Island - 3rd Tues. (MO) @7:30pm
        John 250-721-3219
        Roma 240-275-5723
  London -2nd Sun (bi-MO)
        Adriaan 519-471-6338
        Eileen 613-836-3294
        Ethel 705-924-2546
        Ken & Marina 905-637-6030
        Paula 705-543-0318
  St. Andre Est.
        Mavis 450-537-8187
  Roger: Phone & Fax 352-897-9282
  FMS ASSOCIATION fax-(972) 2-625-9282 
  Task Force FMS of Werkgroep Fictieve 
        Anna (31) 20-693-5692
        Colleen (09) 416-7443
        Ake Moller FAX (48) 431-217-90
  The British False Memory Society
        Madeline (44) 1225 868-682

          Deadline for the Mar/Apr Newsletter is February 15
                  Meeting notices MUST be in writing
    and should be sent no later than TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO MEETING.

|          Do you have access to e-mail?  Send a message to          |
|                                         |
| if  you wish to receive electronic versions of this newsletter and |
| notices of radio and television  broadcasts  about  FMS.  All  the |
| message need say is "add to the FMS-News". It would be useful, but |
| not necessary,  if you add your full name (all addresses and names |
| will remain strictly confidential).                                |
  The False Memory Syndrome Foundation is a qualified 501(c)3 corpora-
tion  with  its  principal offices in Philadelphia and governed by its 
Board of Directors.  While it encourages participation by its  members
in  its  activities,  it must be understood that the Foundation has no 
affiliates and that no other organization or person is  authorized  to
speak for the Foundation without the prior written approval of the Ex-
ecutive Director. All membership dues and contributions to the Founda-
tion must be forwarded to the Foundation for its disposition.

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board,       January 1, 2001

AARON T. BECK, M.D., D.M.S., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,
PA;  TERENCE W. CAMPBELL, Ph.D.,  Clinical  and  Forensic  Psychology,
Sterling Heights, MI;  ROSALIND CARTWRIGHT, Ph.D.,  Rush  Presbyterian
St. Lukes Medical Center, Chicago, IL; JEAN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University
of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; LOREN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wiscon-
sin, Madison, WI; FREDERICK C. CREWS, Ph.D., University of California,
Berkeley,  CA;  ROBYN M. DAWES,  Ph.D.,  Carnegie  Mellon  University,
Pittsburgh,  PA;  DAVID F. DINGES, Ph.D.,  University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA; HENRY C. ELLIS, Ph.D.,  University  of  New  Mexico,
Albuquerque, NM; FRED H. FRANKEL, MBChB, DPM, Harvard University Medi-
cal School,  Boston MA;  GEORGE K. GANAWAY, M.D.,  Emory University of
Medicine,  Atlanta,  GA;  MARTIN GARDNER,  Author, Hendersonville, NC;
ROCHEL GELMAN, Ph.D.,  Rutgers  University, New  Brunswick, NJ;  HENRY
GLEITMAN, Ph.D.,  University of Pennsylvania,  Philadelphia, PA;  LILA
GLEITMAN, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; RICHARD
GREEN, M.D., J.D., Charing Cross Hospital, London;  DAVID A. HALPERIN,
M.D.,  Mount Sinai School of Medicine,  New York, NY;  ERNEST HILGARD,
Ph.D.,  Stanford University,  Palo Alto, CA;  JOHN HOCHMAN, M.D., UCLA
Medical School, Los Angeles, CA; DAVID S. HOLMES, Ph.D., University of
Kansas,  Lawrence, KS;  PHILIP S. HOLZMAN, Ph.D.,  Harvard University,
Cambridge,  MA;  ROBERT A. KARLIN,  Ph.D.,   Rutgers  University,  New 
Brunswick, NJ;  HAROLD LIEF, M.D.,  University of Pennsylvania, Phila-
delphia,  PA;  ELIZABETH LOFTUS, Ph.D., University of Washington, Sea-
tle, WA; SUSAN L. McELROY, M.D., University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati,
OH; PAUL McHUGH, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; HAROLD
MERSKEY, D.M., University of Western Ontario, London, Canada;  SPENCER
HARRIS  MORFIT,  Author,  Westford, MA;  ULRIC NEISSER, Ph.D., Cornell
University, Ithaca, N.Y.; RICHARD OFSHE, Ph.D., University of Califor-
nia, Berkeley, CA;  EMILY CAROTA ORNE, B.A., University of Pennsylvan-
ia, Philadelphia, PA; MARTIN ORNE, M.D., Ph.D., (deceased)  University
of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; LOREN PANKRATZ, Ph.D.,Oregon Health
Sciences  University, Portland , OR;  CAMPBELL PERRY, Ph.D., Concordia 
University, Montreal, Canada;  MICHAEL A. PERSINGER, Ph.D., Laurentian 
University, Ontario, Canada;  AUGUST T. PIPER, Jr., M.D., Seattle, WA;
HARRISON POPE, Jr., M.D.,  Harvard Medical School,  Boston, MA;  JAMES
RANDI,  Author and Magician,  Plantation, FL;  HENRY L. ROEDIGER, III,
Ph.D.,  Washington  University,  St. Louis, MO;  CAROLYN SAARI, Ph.D.,
Loyola University, Chicago, IL;  THEODORE SARBIN, Ph.D., University of
California, Santa Cruz, CA;  THOMAS A. SEBEOK, Ph.D., Indiana Univers-
ity,  Bloomington, IN;  MICHAEL A. SIMPSON, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., M.R.C,
D.O.M., Center for Psychosocial &  Traumatic Stress,  Pretoria,  South
Africa;  MARGARET  SINGER, Ph.D.,  University of California, Berkeley,
CA; RALPH SLOVENKO, J.D., Ph.D., Wayne State  University  Law  School, 
Detroit, MI; DONALD SPENCE, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center,
Piscataway, NJ;  JEFFREY  VICTOR, Ph.D.,  Jamestown Community College,
Jamestown, NY;  HOLLIDA WAKEFIELD, M.A.,  Institute  of  Psychological
Therapies, Northfield, MN;  CHARLES A. WEAVER, III, Ph.D.  Baylor Uni-
versity, Waco, TX.

   Y E A R L Y   FMSF   M E M B E R S H I P   I N F O R M A T I O N
Professional - Includes Newsletter       $125_______

Family - Includes Newsletter             $100_______

                       Additional Contribution:_____________


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___MASTER CARD: #________-________-________-________ exp. date ___/___

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Street Address or P.O.Box

City                                 State         Zip+4

Telephone                           FAX

*  MAIL the completed form with payment to: 
FMS Foundation, 1955 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5766

*  FAX your order to 215-940-1042. Fax orders cannot be processed 
without credit card information.